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"The level of security protection at our facility in Ankara ensured that there were not significantly more deaths and injuries than there could have been," Nuland told reporters in Washington.
"This is one of the compounds where we have been making steady security upgrades over the last decade," Nuland said. "And in fact, the attack was at one of the exterior compound access sites. So it was far from the main building, and it was a result of the way that was hardened that we only lost the one local security guard. And in fact, there were other security guards inside the building behind the glass who were only shaken up by this."
While praising its security and the response of Turkish authorities, Nuland noted that the embassy in Ankara is due for a completely new compound in future. She described the current main building as a 1950s complex that "needs a full upgrade."
The Hurriyet newspaper said staff at the embassy took shelter in a "safe room" inside the compound soon after the explosion.
Police swarmed the area and immediately cordoned it off. Forensic investigators in white outfits and gloves soon combed the site.
TV news video showed the embassy door blown off its hinges. The blast also shattered the windows of nearby businesses, littering debris on the ground and across the road. The inside of the embassy did not appear to be damaged.
Television video also showed what appeared to be a U.S. guard in a helmet and body armor surveying the area from the roof of an embassy building.
In a statement, the U.S. Embassy thanked Turkey for "its solidarity and outrage over the incident."
Ricciardone declared that the U.S. and Turkey "will continue to fight terrorism together," and described the U.S. Embassy compound as secure.
"From today’s event, it is clear that we both suffer from this terrible, terrible problem of today’s world. We are determined after events like this even more to cooperate together until we defeat this problem together," he said.
Erdogan echoed that sentiment, saying the attack aimed to disturb Turkey’s "peace and prosperity" and demonstrated a need for international cooperation against terrorism.
"We will stand firm and we will overcome this together," he said.
Nuland said U.S. officials were "working closely with the Turkish national police to make a full assessment of the damage and the casualties, and to begin an investigation."
Carney, the White House spokesman, said the attack would strengthen the resolve of Turkey and the U.S.
"Turkey remains one of our strongest partners in the region, a NATO ally," he said. "We have worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the Turks to counter terror threats. Turkey has been a very important ally, broadly speaking and in the effort to counter terrorism."
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu vowed Turkey would spare no effort in protecting diplomatic facilities.
"We have always shown great sensitivity to the protection of foreign missions and we will continue to do so," he said.
The injured journalist was 38-year-old Didem Tuncay, who until recently had worked for NTV television. A hospital official said she was "not in critical condition."
Ricciardone visited her in the hospital and told reporters outside that he had invited her to the U.S. Embassy for tea.
He also paid tribute to the Turkish guard who was killed, calling him a "Turkish hero" who died while defending U.S. and Turkish staff.
Americans in Turkey were warned to avoid visiting the embassy or U.S. consulates in Istanbul and Adana until further notice and were told to register on the State Department’s website.Next Page >
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